Stillbirths spiking across the world due to lockdowns

Stillbirths spiking across the world due to lockdowns

Suspension and delay of non-coronavirus medical care has caused stillbirths to spike across several nations, according to several studies, including one published recently in The Lancet.

The Lancet study found that stillbirths in Nepal rose from 14 per 1,000 births pre-lockdown to 21 per 1,000 births over the span of two months, Nature reported. The study’s authors further noted that the full extent of the impact remains unknown, as the lockdowns also caused a spike in pregnant women choosing to give birth outside of hospitals.

“Nepal has made significant progress in the last 20 years in health outcomes for women and their babies, but the last few months have deaccelerated that progress,” said study leader Ashish K.C. of Sweden’s Uppsala University. She specifically attributed the issue to cancellations of routine appointments that would have identified complications early enough to treat.

Stillbirth spikes have also been reported by hospitals in India and London as well, Nature added. Doctors at St George’s, University of London report that stillbirths at St. George’s Hospital have almost quadrupled compared to last year.

“What we’ve done is cause an unintended spike in stillbirth while trying to protect (pregnant women) from COVID-19,” midwifery specialist Jane Warland of the University of South Australia in Adelaide told Nature. For instance, “women with hypertension aren’t being managed as they normally would, and undetected hypertension is a risk factor for stillbirth.”

These are only the latest concerns raised over the public health toll of the lockdowns, which were originally sold on the justification of conserving hospital supplies and capacity for coronavirus patients.

In July, a comparative analysis of ten nations conducted by the conservative Heritage Foundation found that the most restrictive lockdowns were not more effective at saving lives than more targeted policies tailored for those most at risk.

In May, a group of 500 doctors warned President Donald Trump that it was “impossible to overstate the short, medium, and long-term harm to people’s health with a continued shutdown (...) The millions of casualties of a continued shutdown will be hiding in plain sight, but they will be called alcoholism, homelessness, suicide, heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure.”